Merloni's shopping list for Sox: Catcher, outfielder

Merloni's shopping list for Sox: Catcher, outfielder
November 27, 2013, 8:45 am
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Some people have their Christmas lists ready to go.

Our guy Lou Merloni has his Red Sox shopping list.

Merloni sat down with CSNNE's Trenni Kusnierek to discuss what positions are at the top of his list this . . . season.

"It's gotta be the one position where they have no flexibility whatsoever and that's the catcher's spot," Merloni said. "So now with [Carlos] Ruiz and [Brian] McCann gone, I'd be calling Cincinnati and see what Ryan Hannigan's situation is down there and what it's going to take to get him."

Hannigan is more of a defensive catcher, hitting just .198 with 21 RBI in 75 games with the Reds in 2013.

"They need that defensive mind back there, they need somebody short term," Merloni said. "Too much to ask for as far as the asking price? I would go back down to [Jarrod] Saltalamacchia. I don't think anybody is really jumping through the door to get him. See if you can get him with a two-year deal."

Second on the list? Outfield - because it's pretty unlikely Jacoby Ellsbury returns. Merloni thinks Carlos Beltran is that guy.

"They need to replace the bat," Merloni said. "If they're going to lose Jacoby Ellsbury and think they can throw Jackie Bradley in center and that's it, you're good? I don't think that's the case. I think you need a guy here - and this is another thing, short term right? Two-year maybe a third year possibly."

Beltran hit .296 with 24 home runs and 84 RBI for the Cardinals in 2013.

"You can't find another free agent on the market that you can sign for two or three years that can hit second or third for you. They just don't exist. He's the one guy."

Merloni also wants some bullpen help, including . . . a guy who could potentially close in case Koji Uehara can't last the season.